Please help if you can.
International Fund for Animal Welfare
January 18, 2006
Urgent: Japanese Fleet Now Killing Whales
A half century ago, a ship's physician on a whaling trip in the Antarctic wrote the following
"If we can imagine a horse having two or three explosive spears stuck in its stomach and being made to pull a butcher's truck through the streets of London while it pours blood into the gutter, we shall have an idea of the method of killing whales. The gunners themselves admit that if whales could scream, the industry would stop for nobody would be able to stand it."
Sadly, this doctor could have easily been talking about the cruelty of killing whales today.
Harpoons with explosive grenade heads are still used by Japanese whalers to hunt whales in the protected waters of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. And despite a worldwide ban on whaling and international criticism, this cruel killing of whales by Japanese whalers is now underway.
Please help us stop the unnecessary slaughter of whales before it is too late. Contribute to IFAW today.
There is no need to kill a whale in order to study it
A ban on commercial whaling is in effect, but whaling for "research" purposes is permitted under International Whaling Commission (IWC) rules.
Japanese boats left port several weeks ago to begin hunting up to 935 minke whales for "research" purposes in a marine mammal sanctuary -- more than double the number of whales they killed last year. And for the first time, 10 fin whales, the world's second largest animal, will also be killed.
Perhaps most terrifying of all, Japan plans to kill 50 endangered humpback whales a year in the near future. Graceful and magnificent, the songs and athletic displays of humpback whales inspire awe in young and old alike.
This painful killing of whales does not benefit science, whales or people. Japan claims that scientific whaling is necessary to determine if whales are hurting commercial fish stocks. Yet some of the whale species killed by Japan do not even eat fish!
"Which Whale Species Has the Best Flavor?"
The truth of "research" whaling can be found in this outrageous question from a former Deputy Commissioner in Japan's Fisheries agency. Under IWC rules, any meat that results from research whaling must be utilised, and Japan openly sells the whale meat in markets and restaurants. This is commercial whaling in disguise.
The IWC has passed resolutions critical of Japan's research whaling program forty-one times. It is long past time for the Japanese government to abide by the wishes of the international community that supports whale conservation measures such as whale watching, which is both more economically viable and sustainable. IFAW is working with responsible whale watch operators around the world, including in Japan, to promote this new industry that has tremendous benefits for coastal communities worldwide.
We can't match Japan dollar for dollar without your help
The risk of future generations forgetting the sight of these majestic creatures forever is very real. Until the ban on whaling in 1986, many species of whales, including the humpback, were hunted to the brink of extinction. Endangered whales already face many threats from marine pollution, ship strikes, gear entanglement and habitat destruction.
Please give what you can now to stop the continuing injustice of needlessly killing whales in an international sanctuary. These magnificent creatures should be appreciated for their natural beauty, not eaten.
In addition to establishing and promoting alternative whale watching programs around the world, IFAW is investigating legal options to stop Japan's scientific whale hunt via international law.
Through continued research, lobbying and public awareness, your generous contribution will help us stop the cruelty of the explosive harpooning of the most mysterious, soulful creatures on Earth.
Thanks for all you do,
President and CEO